Wounded Iraq Vet Democratic Nominee for Hyde Seat
WaPo reports that,
Tammy Duckworth, the decorated Iraq war veteran who lost both legs in a grenade attack, won a close race Wednesday in her bid for the Democratic primary nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R) in Illinois’s 6th Congressional District. Duckworth, the most prominent and best-financed of nearly a dozen veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars attempting to launch careers in Congress, was vying with Democratic rival Christine Cegelis, a computer consultant who has been running nonstop since she lost to Hyde two years ago. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press declared the Thailand-born Duckworth the narrow winner with 44 percent, or 14,019 votes, to Cegelis’ 40 percent.
In the Republican primary, Peter Roskam, a well-financed conservative state lawmaker, ran unopposed to succeed Hyde, the House Judiciary Committee chairman during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Hyde is retiring after 16 terms in office.
Duckworth, 38, a retired Army major who was wounded on Nov. 12, 2004, while piloting a helicopter in Iraq, formally announced her candidacy in December. Since then, she has enjoyed the high-profile backing and money-raising power of such Democratic Party luminaries as Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), John F. Kerry (Mass.) and Barack Obama (Ill.).
I haven’t seen the polling for Hyde’s seat but would think a Democrat, even one who lost her legs in combat, will be a hard sell in that district. Still, a compelling story.
Update (3/23): This development has the netroots in an uproar. It has Chris Bowers “worried about 2006” and Shakespeare’s Sister is literally cussing the results. It seems that the big, bad national Democratic Party poured used their muscle to get Duckworth, a novice candidate not even from the district, elected over a proven, popular candidate with strong local support.